Microsoft's Defender online security tool is now available to consumers

The online app boosts existing protection for your computers and phones.

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Microsoft Defender for individuals on Android and Windows

It took awhile, but Microsoft Defender is now generally available for all your personal devices, not just Windows PCs and businesses. The new Defender for individuals gives Microsoft 365 subscribers an online tool that bolsters the existing malware and phishing security measures you're (hopefully) using. It extends Windows' anti-malware safeguards to Android, iOS and macOS. You'll also receive security alerts, as well as solutions and tips. You can manage a whole family's security from a central dashboard, and view the antivirus systems you already use (including third-party software).

Microsoft cautioned that new malware protections aren't available when they already exist on iOS and Windows. Advice is only available on Macs and Windows systems.

Defender for individuals is included with Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans in most countries. Prices start at $70 per year for a Personal account in the US. The company vowed that this was "just the start" of its efforts, and that it planned to introduce features like identity theft protection and secure connections.

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This won't necessarily replace all your other defenses. You'll still want to be on guard, particularly for fraud and other digital crimes that Microsoft's tool doesn't currently cover. It may be a useful supplement, though, and it's an easy choice if you were already using Microsoft 365.

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Microsoft's Defender online security tool is now available to consumers